Archway Sheet Metal Works’ High Court hearing into a compulsory purchase order (CPO) issued by Haringey Council on behalf of Tottenham Hotspur football club has finally begun, after the case was adjourned in January.
The fabricator is contesting the order, which would force it to move premises so that Spurs can build a new stadium on the land. The family-owned firm operates on the final plot required to expand the stadium as part of a planned £400 million redevelopment.
The London Borough of Haringey made the CPO in March 2012. It was confirmed by the communities secretary in July 2014 following a public inquiry.
As well as challenging the legality of the CPO itself, Archway says proposed new changes to the Spurs project have come to light which are so substantial that they ‘alter the viability case made at the inquiry’ and further undermine the order.
The new proposals involve ‘massive intensification of the scheme’ – making it substantially different from the project for which the CPO was obtained.
The Daily Mail reported that Christopher Lockhart-Mummery QC, appearing for Archway, is submitting to the judge that an application for disclosure of documents held by Tottenham Hotspur has revealed the extent of the changes.
The QC said in written submissions that Tottenham dismissed them as matters of ‘minutiae’ within ‘a sea of detail’ which was ‘irrelevant’. But the documents revealed discussions had taken place involving an updated design of the Spurs stadium and increasing its capacity by 5,000.
Last November, a fire gutted the Archway premises and the judge presiding over the case, Mr Justice Dove, has been told by the firm’s lawyers that the police are currently ‘investigating the cause of arson’.
Archway’s owner, Josif Josif said at the time of the fire: “People were calling us and threatening us and we were receiving bomb threats and that started a few months ago, but we don’t know if that’s got anything to do with it.”
The company made its name manufacturing catering equipment for the ethnic community in London. It built everything from kebab machines and display cabinets to commercial chip fryers.
From there it expanded into the general foodservice market and customers now range from fast food joints to high-end London restaurants.